Disruption as hurricane-force winds hit Devon coast

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Media captionDawlish train station in Devon closes as waves and gales batter the South West coastline.

Winds of more than 90mph have hit the Devon coast causing the closure of a railway station and train disruption.

Dawlish station was closed for an hour and a 30mph speed restriction for trains was in place as hurricane-force winds batter the coast.

Met Office forecasters recorded a wind speed of 93mph at Berry Head, near Brixham, in Devon.

Part of the track at Dawlish was closed for two months earlier in the year after waves destroyed the sea wall.

A hole appeared in the sea wall at Dawlish on Tuesday night and trains were forced to stop by waves crashing over the wall.

Image copyright Mark Boutle
Image caption A coping stone was dislodged after waves battered the repaired sea wall

When an 80m stretch of the wall was destroyed last winter, Cornwall and much of Devon were left without train services to the rest of the UK between February and April.

Repairing the sea wall and reinstating the track cost a total of £35m.

Network Rail is looking at creating a new inland route as a back-up to the Dawlish line.

Thirteen flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible, are in place around the South West, including between Beesands and Dawlish and on parts of the Rivers Exe, Clyst and Culme, Otter and Sid and the Axe.

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption About 80m (262ft) of sea wall at Dawlish in Devon were destroyed by high tides and stormy seas last winter

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